I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with laughter and mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure”; but surely, this also was vanity.
I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?”
I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.
I undertook great projects:
- I built houses for myself
- planted vineyards.
- I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
- I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees.
- I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house.
- I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me.
- I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces.
- I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart.
I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil.
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
Source: Ecclesiastes 2: 1 – 11